What is a Walking Book Club?
The Walking Book Club is a little like a regular book club, except you and your book club take your meeting outside and walk while you talk.
The beauty and simplicity of a Walking Book Club is that it covers three essentials to a healthy brain – mental, physical and social activity.
Read, Walk and Talk your way to better brain health.
As John Medina, author of Brain Rules says,
The human brain became the most powerful in the world under conditions where motion was a constant presence.
Our fancy brains developed not while we were lounging around but while we were working out.
At the start of each month I’ll suggest a book for you to read and then a couple of weeks later (that is enough time to read a book, right?) I’ll provide questions to kick-start your discussion.
Already a member of a book club? Take your next meeting outdoors and exercise your body as well as your mind – it’ll make a huge impact on your brain health!
How to start a Walking Book Club
Here are some tips to get you going…
- Choose 2 or 3 friends that are as passionate and motivated as you about brain health.
- Keep your group small. It is easiest to discuss the book when only 3 or 4 of you are walking.
- Choose a route that you can cover in about one hour – roughly 4km at an average walking pace.
- Choose landmarks along the route that act as triggers for discussion, eg, choose a tree in the distance and discuss the first question until you walk past the tree. Or get high-tech and use an app that measures distance. I use an exercise app called Endomonodo. Set it to announce when you have walked a set distance. Discuss one question every 500 metres (or whatever distance you choose… brainstorm with your friends and come up with your own clever solution).
And, finish up a local cafe for a coffee. Neuroscientists have shown that coffee and friendships boost your brain health and reduce cognitive decline.
Here are my Walking Book Club recommendations and questions from 2015/16…
FEBRUARY 2015 – Brain Rules by John Medina.
MAY 2014 Walking Book Club – Left Neglected by Lisa Genova
APRIL 2014 Walking Book Club – Thrive by Arianna Huffington.
MARCH 2014 Walking Book Club – The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks
FEBRUARY 2014 Walking Book Club – Saturday by Ian McEwan
DECEMBER Walking Book Club – The Kitchen God’s Wife by Amy Tan
NOVEMBER Walking Book Club – The World’s Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne
OCTOBER Walking Book Club – My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor
SEPTEMBER Walking Book Club – The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
AUGUST Walking Book Club – The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
JULY Walking Book Club – Still Alice by Lisa Genova
JUNE Walking Book Club – The 100 year old man who climbed out a window by Jonas Jonasson
About Dr Sarah
I’m an Oxford University-educated neuroscientist, presenter of ABC Catalyst, director of The Neuroscience Academy, and author of The Women's Brain Book. The neuroscience of health, hormones and happiness.
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